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This investigation was initiated based on information received from anonymous complaints which reported the former OPCD Director, Tyrell Morris, was involved in a vehicle accident while operating an OPCD vehicle and that the accident was not properly reported to include the failure to adhere to the submission of a drug and alcohol test, in violation of OPCD policy. Allegations later arose from local news reports that changes were made to the OPCD Standard Operating Procedure Number 1.3.1 (SOP), which required OPCD employees involved in a vehicle accident with an OPCD vehicle undergo drug and alcohol test. Local media outlets also reported that changes were made to the SOP after the accident occurred. The alleged changes to the SOP included added language which lowered the standard required for drug and alcohol test for OPCD employees involved in a vehicle accident while operating an OPCD vehicle.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the City of New Orleans (City) conducted a performance audit of the Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD). The objective of the audit was to determine if OPCD credit card expenditures were business-related and allowed by law and if OPCD credit card purchases were compliant with relevant OPCD policy, laws, and other best practices.

Orleans Parish Communications District Operations Manager Wendy Ervin was given access to the Louisiana Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and the National Crime Information Center despite being a convicted felon.

OPCD employees are granted access to LLETS, NCIC and other criminal justice related databases to verify vehicle registrations, driver’s license information and to conduct criminal history inquiries.

The interface agency in this instance is the OPCD.  The “CSO” designation is assigned to personnel in the Louisiana State Police NCIC/LLETS Access Unit.  Local user agencies violating CJIS policy are subject to disciplinary action which, in extreme circumstances, may result in the agency’s access to the system being temporarily revoked.

The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has the statutory authority to investigate and audit the Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD). This decision solidified the initial ruling made by the Civil District Court.

During its ongoing oversight and investigation of OPCD, the OIG requested that OPCD produce certain financial records and information. OPCD rejected the request and challenged the OIG’s statutory authority.  The Civil District Court’s judgment ordered OPCD to produce the requested data; however, the OPCD appealed and contended that the OIG had exceeded its statutory authority and suggested the Civil District Court erred in its decision.
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